Interviewed by Royce Freeman
HOW DID YOU GET THE JOB OF WRITING THE SCRIPT FOR JASON GOES TO HELL?
I was working on staff for Sean Cunningham at the time and I was working on another project. And there was a different writer working on the script at the time. His draft had come in and they decided they wanted to go in a different direction so Sean just basically assigned me the project cause I was working for him at the time.
WHAT WAS THE ORIGINAL STORY?
The original story involved Elias, who was Jason's brother which was the mythology created for the movie. Jason wasn't in that script. It was just about Elias, his brother. It was all that body jumping stuff but it had to do with Elias. Jason wasn't a part of it. So basically it didn't work, and we decided to go in a different direction.
WERE THEY EVER GONNA EXPLAIN THE ENDING TO PART EIGHT?
No, there was a decision made early on, I guess by Sean, to pretty much ignore all the movies that came before it, and start fresh and the assumption being that the movies that were previously were just movies, and that this one was based on real events.
HOW MANY YEARS AFTER THE CONCLUSION OF PART EIGHT IS THIS FILM SUPPOSED TO TAKE PLACE?
Well, we never really thought of it that way because the concept was that we were basically ignoring those movies. So, we didn't really start from the ending of part eight.
WAS THERE ANY MAJOR FOOTAGE FILMED THAT WASN'T USED?
There was one scene film where Randy, Steven, Vicki and Ward are in the diner before Diana goes home and Steve goes to meet her. In the scene, Steven and the rest of them are discussing prank calling and stuff and Steven calls up the a pizza place and tries to hustle them for a pizza, volunteering to trade a pizza for Vicki, saying she was a whore and that Ward was the pimp. It was a really funny scene.
There was also an extended version of the opening diner scene where we introduced Sheriff Landis, Randy, and Josh. And the scene basically explained Josh's affair with Edna, and the Sheriff's courting of Diana, as well as Steven leaving Jessica because of her pregnancy.
The scenes that were cut made the story fuller, and explained everything in depth. But it proved to be too long, so cuts were made to make it as tight as possible.
WHY WASN'T IT PUT BACK IN FOR THE DIRECTOR'S CUT?
All the director's cut is, was our original cut of the movie before we had to cut it down to an R-rating. So, there are a lot of scenes that were shot that aren't in the movie. They were cut a while ago for various reasons. The director's cut is basically the release cut for theaters, with some additional footage that was cut to make the R-rating.
WAS THERE ANYTHING THAT WAS FILMED THAT WASN'T IN THE FINAL SCRIPT?
We shot the original script, then it was cut. Then we went back and shot for an additional week, all new scripted stuff. For instance, the campers that get killed was a reshoot. There was a bunch of stuff that was shot during that additional week, some of which made it into the movie, some didn't. But shooting the camper scene became a priority. Test audiences hated the fact that we never actually went to Camp Crystal Lake with campers. So that's why that sequence was written. So we put that into the movie, which forced us to alter other things to logically have it make sense.
HOW DID YOU GUYS KNOW WHAT TO CUT TO GET THE R-RATING FOR THE FILM?
This is the way the MPAA works. They say, "We're not a censorship organization. So, consequentially we cannot tell you what to cut out of your movie, because we don't censor movies. All we do is assign a rating. So, consequentially we can tell you that from looking at the footage you've shown us, this is an X-rating. We can't tell you what an R-rating would be. But if you show us something and we think it's an R-rating, then we'll give it an R-rating."
WAS IT AN X-RATING BECAUSE OF THE TENT SEX SCENE?
It was everything. You know, the problem with the movie has always been, they felt that the movie as a whole was an NC-17. And they wouldn't get specific. So, Sean would say, "Okay, the first scene. What can I cut?" And they would say, "Well, we can't tell you that. Cause we don't know. But if you show us another cut of the movie, then we can tell you."
DO YOU THINK THEY HAD CERTAIN THINGS THEY WANTED CUT IN THEIR OWN MINDS?
No, I just think they we appalled by the whole movie. And finally, I think, we submitted it so many times that I think they probably just got sick of watching it and gave it an R-rating. But overall, we had to cut a lot. I mean, if you look at the R-rated version and the Unrated version, there's a tremendous amount of stuff cut. A lot of EFX were cut from the R-rated version. I remember there was one shot where Adam Cranner's hand got blown open.
WAS IT YOUR IDEA TO DO THAT BIT IN THE FILM WHERE YOU INSULT JASON BEFORE YOU DIE, CAUSE IT WASN'T IN THE FINAL SCRIPT?
No, that wasn't scripted. It was something I did on the set because I felt like as the writer the one advantage I had was that I could make up lines on the set. And that was real fun to do.
HOW DID THEY DO THAT EFFECT IN THE MIRROR WHERE YOU SEE THE CORONER WALK BY THEN JASON IS THE ONE WHOSE REFLECTION IS SEEN?
Well, this is how it was done. The camera was a little bit to the right of the reflective cabinet, and Jason (Kane Hodder) stood to the left of the camera, just out of frame. And what happened was, Richard Gant walked through frame and as soon as he cleared the frame, Kane, who was standing right next to him, continued walking. And because of the angle, it reflected Jason (Kane). So, it wasn't an optical or anything, it was just the angle of the mirror.
WERE THE DEATH'S OF THE TWO FBI AGENTS EVER FILMED?
As I recall, I don't think we ever shot it. It was always, in our minds, the joke would be that the FBI Agent (Kane) said this to Jason and we know that Jason is gonna take this poorly. And we cut immediately to the American Case File, to the result of what Jason has done. That was really always the way we wanted it to be filmed.
IS THE ROAD SIGN IN THE MOVIE SUPPOSED TO FINALLY GIVE AWAY THE LOCATION OF CRYSTAL LAKE AS BEING IN CONNECTICUT?
Yeah, Sean always set it in Connecticut. He created the film and in his mind it was always in Connecticut. He was from Westport, Connecticut and that was where he set it from the beginning. And I think we actually got license plates made to establish it was Connecticut. Adam Marcus (director) and Sean both grew up in Westport, and that's how Adam met Sean. Adam was friends with Sean's son.
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